There are too many opportunities for the seller of a purebred cat to scam the buyer. Sometimes buyers purchase a purebred cat remotely, online. They don’t see the cat that they are buying in person but through a photograph. The seller might promise this and that. There is often no written contract. The seller ships the cat to the buyer.
In terms of a contract, it is very loose and conducted carelessly. Sometimes cat breeders (the seller) provide a contract. But there is nothing stopping the buyer providing their own contract and insisting upon it.
And buyers should not be frightened of contracts. They can be very simple and straightforward. They prevent both the seller and buyer misbehaving. As there is a great opportunity for the seller to misbehave, the contract prevents it. It is a proactive measure.
And critically, nowadays, buyers can carry out their own DNA test on a cat or dog that they’ve bought. You can buy them on Amazon. This is highly convenient. Most of the DNA tests that you can buy on Amazon are for dogs but there is at least one (!) for cats, thankfully. Cats get a bad deal as usual ??.
These DNA tests use mouth swabs and they will test for a range of genetic conditions and screen for over 70 cat breeds.
Further, when you use this test you are contributing to the largest veterinary genetic research study ever according to the sales bumf.
But the critical point is that the right of the purchaser to carry out a DNA test on their purchased cat as stated in the contract, which I have included on this page, is critical. That clause alone in the contract prevents the seller misbehaving and scamming the buyer by selling a cat that is not purebred and does not have a pedigree.
By “pedigree” I mean a family lineage which is registered by a recognised cat association. It’s important to establish that the cat is purebred. And this should be visible in a DNA test.
Also, as purebred cats often suffer from genetically inherited diseases because of inbreeding, it’s important that there should be a condition in the contract which deals with that possibility.
That’s why I have included both terms in the contract. This is a draft contract for you to use free of charge.
It is downloadable and in PDF format. You simply click on the image above to go to the contract. The link opens a fresh page you can then download it and print it out.
If either party does not have a printer, they can write out the contract in manuscript (in their handwriting) as long as it is an exact copy and then sign that.
The end result should be two identical signed copies which both parties retain. Contracts are highly useful as mentioned because they constrain the behaviour of the contracting parties.
To reassure you, I am a retired solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. I know about contracts. Although I’ve been retired for 15 years!
Please use it. I’ve seen too many instances of purchases of cats online going wrong.
Dog DNA testing
Separately, on a slightly different topic, a lot of people bought dogs during the Covid pandemic. Sometimes these were impulse buys. This encouraged sellers to misbehave. They were selling dogs that were mixed breed rather than purebred for example. Or they claimed that their dog with a certain breed when they weren’t.
As a result, some purchasers bought DNA tests online (identical to the one that I mention in the contract) which cost between £65 and £130 in the UK, and discovering the true pedigree of their dog. They complained if it did not match with what the seller had claimed.
Armed with this information they can get their money back. According to Action Fraud, 4,751 people were victims of pet fraud between March and November 2020. The monetary loss amounted to £2 million.
So fraud and breach of contract is not only occurring in the cat world but in the dog world too. Big time.
Without a written contract, both parties are reliant upon an oral contract which is fragile to which you can add buyer protections under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in the UK. But ideally you don’t want to rely upon these implied terms and conditions as it makes thing more complicated and more difficult to enforce the agreement. You want your own conditions in a signed up contract.
In doing so you will NEVER be scammed. If the seller refuses to sign the contract then you walk away. This is vitally important. Stick to your guns. Dictate terms. You run the show as a buyer.
This contract is about protecting buyers. Please use it.
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